How to Frost Cupcakes with Piping Bag?

Cupcakes are some of the best treats every sweet tooth in the world loves. And if they come with a cool decorated frosting on top, that’s even better. Doing perfect frosting isn’t all too hard. But if you don’t know the right technique, it can be quite difficult.

This guide will be all you need to know on how to frost cupcakes with piping bag. The key is applying even pressure and starting with a dollop of frosting in the middle. This will act as a reference point for you.

Then there are also different decorating tips. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at which tips to use before diving into the tutorial.

Which Tip to Use?

First, you need to make sure the tip you’re using is suited for what you’re doing. There are mainly 4 kinds of decorating tips. Some of the tips are more often used than others.

But keep in mind that just because one is used more often doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time too. Which one works for you really depends on the kind of decoration you want and the kind of frosting you’re working with.

Open Star Tips

This is by far the most common tip used when frosting cupcakes. The open star is great if your frosting is thick and you want a taller cupcake. However, these aren’t the best if you want more definition in your frosting.

Closed Star Tips

Closed star tips are great for getting more definitions and details in your design. One thing you need to keep in mind is your frosting/icing needs to be very smooth. Otherwise, the closed shape of the tip will make it quite difficult to pipe easily.

French Tip

French tips have very small jagged edges. With these, the swirls come out really tight and compact.

Round Tip

Round tips aren’t all too difficult to understand. They are literally just a tip with a round opening. You get thick lines, almost blobs of icing/frosting with this one.

How to Frost Cupcakes?

Frosting cupcakes is pretty easy for the most part. All you need is some patience and steady hands. Of course, the tools are important as well. Speaking of which, here is what you will need:

Once you have all these, you can start frosting. Depending on the tip, you can make all sorts of different decorations on your cupcake. There are a couple of decorations pastry chefs do on their cupcakes.


Swirls are a classic decoration. The whole idea behind doing a swirl is applying even pressure throughout the process.

Pipe a dot in the center of the cupcake. This does two things. It makes sure your frosting is centered and also acts as a good starting point. Start applying pressure on the piping bag and squeeze out frosting around the edges of the cupcake and the dot you just made.

You want to make a ring around it with one fluid motion. At one point you will reach where you started. Now you want to move in and let some of the frostings overlap.

How to Frost Cupcakes with Piping Bag

Keep doing this and make the circle smaller and smaller. This will create a very cool-looking spiral.

One important thing to remember is you need to stop and release the pressure when you’re at the top. Release the pressure and lift the piping bag. You should end up with a nice little star.


Piping a rose is as easy as how cool it looks. This one is actually easier than the swirl. The key difference between the swirl and the rose is you only need to cover the top of the cupcake with one layer.

Start by piping a dot in the middle of the cupcake, the same as before. Don’t stop just yet. Continue going around the dot. This dot will be sort of your reference point. Pipe and slowly go closer to the edges while applying even pressure.

When you have covered the whole top of the cupcake, stop and release pressure. Now lift the bag, and you will have a perfect rose on your cupcake.

French Tip

For this one, you will need a French tip. One easy way to do it is to just hold the bag at the center of the cupcake and start applying pressure. You will see the frosting will come and start filling the top.

This is a super-easy way to frost mini cupcakes. Be careful of decorating large cupcakes like this, though. The frosting will look uneven when it goes too far out. But it’s still a cool little technique you can try out for yourself.

Using a Piping Bag, the Right Way

A lot of people sometimes don’t use the piping bag the right way. This makes their frosting and decorations come out all wrong, and they end up frustrating themselves. So here are some tips to help you use the piping bag the right way.

Next time you frost a cupcake, use these tips, and you will see your decorations are no short of amazing.

  • Prep the Bag Correctly

Assembly and prepping the piping bag are very important. Make sure that the decorating tip is properly attached to the coupler.

  • Apply Even Pressure

Whether unconsciously or for a lack of practice, a lot of new bakers will not apply constant or even pressure when piping. As you might imagine, doing this won’t result in perfectly even-looking frosting. So, be mindful to apply even pressure.

  • Hold the Piping Bag Correctly

There is a proper way of holding the piping bag. You need to place the twisted end of the bag between your thumb and forefingers. Now wrap your fingers around the bag and make sure you have a nice solid grip.

  • Use Fingers to Guide the Bag

If you feel like your hands aren’t as steady yet, you can place two fingers placed near the tip of the bag to help you guide it when you’re frosting.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. Now that you know how to frost cupcakes with a piping bag, you can try out all those recipes you have been saving up. The best way to get good at it is to just practice. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, you can experiment with other advanced decorations.



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